I know I am supposed to speak about the achievements and challenges faced by my organisation in its quest to promote democratic, free and fair elections. But since the Zimbabwean situation is unique in the region, I will adopt an almost different approach to presenting the challenges and achievements that my organisation has scored in its endeavour to ensuring democratic, free and fair elections in the country. By outlining the Zimbabwe situation, I will implicitly address the part of the presentation that requires me to talk of the challenges faced by movements that seek to promote democracy in the country. Because of the many reports that have been, so far, doing rounds on Zimbabwe, the situation in the country, to those from without, is confusing, if not convoluted. It therefore calls me to explain the crisis….. : more
It is not the lack of rains that pose a threat to regional peace in Southern Africa but it is a drought of good governance that is much more difficult because you have neighbours like Zimbabwe.” Botswana President Festus Mogae. So the Zimbabwe crisis is a regional crisis.
I am glad to have an opportunity to talk about women participation in elections as a way of building democracy. As a starting point, there is need to critically look at the key words on the subject of this presentation-democracy and participation. But before we do that, lets have a bit of background information on the gender representation in our parliament and the various conventions and protocols that we are signatory to, which outlaw the discrimination of women. …. : more
Ladies and Gentlemen, the holding of periodic, free and fair elections form part of the basic tenets of democratic practices and good governance. Our participation in the electoral processes, as civic bodies should therefore be looked at as a human right as well as a commitment to a calling that, as civil society, we should heed to. This summit comes at a time when Zimbabwe is undergoing a lot of challenges, political, social and economic, but most importantly, at a time when the country is preparing for yet another major election-the harmonised presidential, parliamentary and senatorial elections. Given such a background, it is important that I give you an update on what is going on in the country in view of the forthcoming elections. It is my wish that the summit would, after this presentation, come up with recommendations, suggestions and general advice on how best the civil society would ensure their effective participation in the electoral process. Let me begin by going historical….. : more
WHILE there is the provision in Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill 2007 that, for the first time in the history of constituency delimitation in the country, parliament would be presented with the preliminary report for consideration, we have noted, with interest, that the Bill is quite inexplicit on various issues that pertain to the delimitation exercise.
Judging from past events, the Zimbabwe political landscape is a minefield that has generated acrimonious relations between the two major political parties in Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Pre-election violence, accusations and counter-accusations of electoral fraud and litigations have characterised the elections in Zimbabwe since 2000. Such a political climate calls for an electoral process capable of healing the wounds resultant of the political tension obtaining in the country since the dawning of the new millennium….. : more
The Constitution Amendment Bill Number 18 that is before parliament is seeking, for the first time in the history of the country, to mandate an electoral management body (EMB), the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), to mark constituency boundaries….. : more
Long-term election monitoring refers to the systematic observation over a period of time prior to, and after an election process, to assess different aspects of the electoral process in order to provide an independent evaluation of its fairness. This process enables election observer groups to make an objective assessment of the environment under which the elections are held….. : more
THE on-going voter registration exercise should, ideally, be the first step towards ensuring popular participation in governance issues by all citizens who are 18 years and above. When implemented transparently and with wide consultation, the exercise should form the basis on which a country can build or consolidate its mutation into a full democracy. This therefore, requires that the exercise of registering new voters and updating of information on those already registered be a transparent, thorough and democratic endeavour absolved from the pitfalls of negligent workmanship, electoral chicanery or any cosmetic and superficial “renovations” that seek to portray the system as normal when, in fact, it is not. …. : more
The recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone on 11 August 2007 where the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) send some observers, were an eye opener and a living testimony of how other African countries have evolved democratically. Most importantly, the Sierra Leone elections exhibited the gateway to electoral credibility in a country whose previous elections were littered with irregularities. This was Sierra Leone’s first post conflict election managed by a local electoral management body after the 2002 which was managed by the United Nations….. : more